The Freaks by Kamala Das by Bijay Kant Dubey SignUp
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Literary Shelf Share This Page
The Freaks by Kamala Das
by Bijay Kant Dubey Bookmark and Share

He talks, turning a sun-stained
Cheek to me, his mouth, a dark
Cavern, where stalactites of
Uneven teeth gleam, his right
Hand on my knee, while our minds
Are willed to race towards love;
But, they only wander, tripping
Idly over puddles of
Desire. .... .Can this man with
Nimble finger-tips unleash
Nothing more alive than the
Skin's lazy hungers? Who can
Help us who have lived so long
And have failed in love? The heart,
An empty cistern, waiting
Through long hours, fills itself
With coiling snakes of silence. .....
I am a freak. It's only
To save my face, I flaunt, at
Times, a grand, flamboyant lust.

The body, not the soul is the talk of hers; lust, not love the talk of hers as she is spiritually sick, a disciple of Rajneesh and his Sambhoga to samadhi she is of some confessional slant feministic and revolting. A modern girl she can never be a sadhvi, but one with a tulsimala and rudraksha rosary into the hands of hers just for to show, enact the drama of love as she is not a yogi, but a bhogi. The drama of love, how to understand it, especially her drama of love? She is a modern woman and she knows it how to be in media glare.

What does she want it? How to say it? The body or the soul? Whose lover is she indeed? A worshipper of the body or the soul? Is she a Rajneeshite? An ashramite of the Rajneesh Ashrama? Is she a lover or a feminist? Is she sexually dissatisfied? What is it the truth? How to write the biography of hers, recording it not her statements, going by her write-ups, but by her husband too? What does her husband say it about her? Is she a maniac girl? Is she love-mad?
What does the word Freaks mean it? Is she a freak? What is she freaking about? She is so full of pranks about her personal life and relationship that we fail to understand. None is sure of what it happened in between. To stoke controversies is her job and to be in the media light.

A controversial writer we do not know it how it was her life fraught with controversies which she made with regard to sexual love and dissatisfaction. Was she a propagandist? Or, is she a confessional writer?

Her nautanki, how to understand it? Who is at fault? The lover or the beloved? She may be with her husband, but her soul dwells it in Malabar. She wants to be a feminist rather than a housewife or a home-maker. A reader of Freud, Vatsyayana, Rajneesh, Lawrence, Wright and Plath, how can she be with her hubby? An Isckonite, how can she be back home? The case is one of Mira and the Mother of Pondicherry Ashrama. If the heart is lost in Krishna-prem, how to be at home? The world seems to be a Vrindavan. The case is one of Lawrence’s Sun.

Is she a modern age Shakuntala? A Draupadi? And how her Dushyanta, a keeper of so many wives and a forgetter of hers? A Kunti or who is she? Or, a modern age Radha? Kamala Das seems to be a Lawrentine heroine which we find it in Sons and Lovers, Women in Love, The Rainbow, The Lost Girl, The Virgin and the Gypsy, The Fox and so on. To read her is to discuss a yogini’s prem; to read her is to flip the pages of Vatsyayana’s Kamsuttra; to read her is to go through erotic figures and figurines of Khajuraho and Konark.

Does she love the male partner or not? Is it a modern girl’s drama? Or, the story is otherwise? The woman wants to liberate herself from the shackles of man-woman relationship, give and take, attraction and repulsion story. How to do away with possessive love, male domination and patriarchal set-up? How to tamper with the Divine Scheme of Things? Does the female partner want to dress as a boy donning male clothing? If she goes for sex change, what will it happen?

The male partner wants to possess the body, but the female wears on a different outlook while dispensing with, letting him will as does it so. Let him have his desire of possessing the body all but slowly, let him do whatever he wants to do with this body taking his time. The fire of sex is so quick in charring the things. But is the body all? Sensations and thrills too have a part to do which may be dead in him. Does one not need emotions to grapple with? The thrills which seem to be overpowering are almost dead in the persona. Emotions and feelings too have a role to play. We are not merely stuffed people. We have emotions and feelings and as human beings we too need them. But the male persona is physical. He is brutal and bloody in tending to her soul. Apart from skin’s lazy hungers, there is also something to share with. Is relationship all? Is it the end of the story? Have the sensations and sensuousness no role to play in? One must have the power to feel the jasmines on the cheeks, in the hair. Try to love the heart too, try to love the soul too, not only the body.

She wants love from him, but he is unable to give it and one needs to be emotionally alive rather than intellectually.
The story takes to the fall and temptation of Adam and Eve. Why were they expelled from the Garden of Heaven? As for plucking the forbidden fruits and tasting them? Why do the couples and pairs fail in? Why do the relationships break it? Who fails it in love, give and take relationship? Is love amorous or spiritual?  How was it Mira’s love? Such a thing it is in D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

Even if she does not like him, appreciate him, the minds get willed to race towards love as because there is attraction and repulsion in love. Physical love draws it closer. One gets attracted and pulled towards naturally. It is but attraction which pulls it. Silence helps in getting closer to. Two beating hearts meet with, two panting souls, but the fire must be therein.

Is it her personal relationship which she is talking about? Or just the freaks about? Does she really not love her partner? Is he older than her? Is he unable to give her love? We are really left in the dark as because Kamala’s poetical autobiography is thereon, but his husband’s autobiography nobody knows it. Whatever be it, it is a part of the love-hate theme met in love. The gossips of love, the whispers of love, how to disclose them? The drama of love, how to enact it? Who loves whom, how to say it? The intricacies of human relationship are very difficult to judge it.
Physical contact she admires it rather than flirtation:

He talks, turning a sun-stained
Cheek to me, his mouth, a dark
Cavern, where stalactites of
Uneven teeth gleam, his right
Hand on my knee, while our minds
Are willed to race towards love;
But, they only wander, tripping
Idly over puddles of
Desire. .... .

The hunger of the body burns it, the summer of the body is so intense, so full of heat and humidity:

Can this man with
Nimble finger-tips unleash
Nothing more alive than the
Skin's lazy hungers?

How to take the man who has failed to love her body with full satisfaction and love? The failure in love, sex satisfaction burns her from her within and she feels it restless to dispense with. Sexual love if it lies dissatisfied can be disastrous. The female partner seeks for more and more prompt love, but he is unable to give. He does not have the stamina to give:

Who can
Help us who have lived so long
And have failed in love?

Human heart, what to say it about? What can it do if it only goes on aspiring and thinking? Does she want it more love from him and he is unable to give to her? The desires of love keep her burning, the feeling of hunger and thirst needs to be quenched:

The heart,
An empty cistern, waiting
Through long hours, fills itself
With coiling snakes of silence. .....

But the reality is this that she is a freak:

I am a freak. It's only
To save my face, I flaunt, at
Times, a grand, flamboyant lust.

There are two sides of explaining this poem, one is a feministic stand while the other is a story of sex satisfaction. The narration from her husband’s side is almost untold and unknown so how to do justice to the matter in hand? The other thing too is this that it is very difficult to suppress the fire of sex, the sexual fire which sets it everything on fire. Sexual desires and dreams can never be suppressed and repressed in a negative way. Kamala Das’ complaint we have heard it, but we have not anything from the side of the negligible husband.

Image (c) istock.com

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07-May-2022
More by :  Bijay Kant Dubey
 
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